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Law Office of Michael T. Smith
Northern Illinois Employment Law Firm

Dealing with Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy is one of most exhilarating experiences of a woman's life. It is certainly a life-altering experience as you, blessed with the miracle of life, carry and give birth to a human being. Unfortunately, in some instances, pregnant women tend to face discrimination. Despite federal laws which explicitly prohibit any sort of discriminatory behavior towards pregnant women, the number of discrimination cases continues to rise. According to local employment discrimination lawyers, refusal to hire or provide adequate medical leaves are the most common types of discrimination faced by pregnant women across the United States.

Know your rights - how does the law protect pregnant women against discrimination?

Under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which is a federal act of law, employers cannot discriminate on the basis of pregnancy or any other aspect of pregnancy such as childbirth, miscarriages etc. Added as an amendment to the Civil Rights Act (1964), the federal act explicitly prohibits employers to discriminate against pregnant women.

The protection against pregnancy discrimination is further augmented by the Illinois state legislation titled 'the Illinois Pregnancy Accommodation Law'. In short, both federal and state laws provide ample protection to women who are victims of discrimination based on their sex and pregnancy. As per sex discrimination lawyers, most women are unaware of their rights. Lack of awareness is a major issue which allows employers to get away with pregnancy discrimination.

How to deal with discrimination?

Under the law, your employer is supposed to accommodate you in a reasonable manner. Accommodations such as lighter workloads particularly in jobs involving manual labor, allowing frequent bathroom breaks and time off work to help you recover from childbirth. If your employer fails to reasonably fulfil his or her duties as stipulated by law, you might have a strong case.

If you are a pregnant woman who is currently facing discrimination at work on the basis of your condition, you should immediately seek guidance from a sex discrimination lawyer. Even if you were discriminated against post-partum, you can seek justice from the court within 300 days of the incident.

If you feel like you have been subjected to discrimination by your employer due to your pregnancy and want to schedule a free consultation with an experienced sex discrimination lawyer, contact the Law Office of Michael Smith at (847) 220-5197.

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